Music Producing & Engineering
Course 11: The Bass

Big, round, and booming, the bass can be found at the foundation of western popular music across almost every genre. With the ability to generate room-rattling energy, the bass plays an integral role in popular music, so there is tremendous value in understanding how a bassline works. At some point during your career, you will be called upon to create a can’t-miss bassline–we’ll show you how to do it.

You’ll learn how long bass notes can be matched with faster notes, a common practice in modern music, and how to give your bass more energy while working in a digital audio workstation. When (and how) to use chords in conjunction with the bassline, voice leading, passing tones, and varying rhythms to help the arrangement will all be part of this course.

When you finish this course, you’ll identify basslines and their function in music production, correctly interpret standard rhythms, and create basslines using techniques discussed in the course for your own production. The assignment for this course will have you create a drum pattern and bassline for two of your songs: one for an alternative rock song and the other in a style of your choice.

Your listening list will feature several genres of music with differing basslines and you’ll learn to identify how the basslines are being used or manipulated. The course ends with a review, a blog entry, a quiz, and prep work for the next course. And it’s a big one: the Midterm Exam!


  • Be able to identify a bassline and its function in modern production.
  • Be able to interpret commonly used rhythms in modern music.
  • Be able to use the techniques covered in this course to create their own basslines.
  • Be able to identify a bassline and the techniques used to create that bassline.
  • Be able to explain the use of a bassline in modern production and be able to use the techniques in their own production.